russia has launched a full-scale war in Ukraine! Headway asks you to donate to the charity fund to protect Ukraine and the world’s peace.

Support Ukraine

library / 
4.8 (14667 reviews)

Summary of Meditations 

What’s inside

Introduce yourself to fundamental Stoic principles and learn how to remain untouched in the face of hardship and negativity.

Key points


The collection of Marcus Aurelius' life-lessons has remained relevant through ages

“Meditations” is an ever unique collection of personal notes written by the Stoic Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, to himself. The notes were somewhat mysterious because they were never intended for publication, but simply for personal clarity.

The notes were meant to help Marcus Aurelius, a trained Stoic, define a life philosophy and an ideal character worthy of aspiration for himself. They were also intended to help him reflect on how to make good on the responsibilities and obligations of his position as the military leader of an empire. However, the insights in Meditations have proven to be priceless and ageless, as they have resonated with men of all walks of life for thousands of years.
Do external things distract you? Then find time to learn something worthwhile; stop letting yourself be pulled in all directions. ~ Marcus Aurelius
So, who was Marcus Aurelius? Born M. Annius Verus on April 26, A.D. 121, Marcus Aurelius served as the emperor of the Roman Empire from A.D. 161 to 180. This was the age of the Imperial Cult when Roman emperors were divinely sanctioned rulers with vast wealth and power.

As a soldier, Marcus was both capable and successful; he embarked on several campaigns in the interest of his empire and people and was triumphant in almost all of them. In a similar vein, he was prudent and conscientious as an administrator.

However, the good emperor was not spared domestic and personal troubles. His wife, Faustina, died at an early age, and his children died one by one. By the end of Marcus' life, only one of his sons still lived — the weak and worthless Commodus, who would end up succeeding Marcus as emperor and ruining his father's life legacy during his short reign.

Yet through all his numerous afflictions, Marcus's humility and objectivity were tremendous. And during those years of trouble, Marcus would write twelve books of his private journals “Meditations,” which have gone on to become one of the most practical and influential philosophy books in the history of the world.

In this summary, we will take a look at the major life lessons that recur throughout the book and how they can help lead a better life.

No one has the power to make you feel any negative emotion without your permission

Marcus Aurelius reminds us that each day is filled with unavoidable troubles caused by the ignorance or bad behavior of other people. As we go out each day, we'll come across all sorts of people — the ungrateful, the arrogant, the busy-body, the dishonest, the jealous, and the irritable. In dealing with such people, we must never let our own principles be violated.
Continue reading with Headway app
Continue the summary
Other chapters is waiting for you in the app

Don't waste even a second of your time on earth complaining


Stay focused on the present and live with the understanding that you're here for a purpose


The obstacle is the way: learn to see obstacles as opportunities


Meditate on your mortality and let your awareness of it inspire you to live your best life



Buy full book on AmazonContinue the summary

You’ll learn

Stoic life lessons
About dealing with obstacles and using them to your advantage
What to strive for in life
How to accept death and let it inspire you to enjoy life

What is Meditations about?

Who should read Meditations

Topics in Meditations